Customer Challenge

As gas turbine combustor exit temperatures continue to rise, efficient fuel burn and emissions requirements continue to get more stringent. It is becoming increasingly important to leverage 3D CFD simulation tools to understand complex physics that exists in the combustor and make improvements to meet design goals.


  • Investigate the effect of different diffusion hole patterns on combustor exit temperature
  • Investigate sector-to-sector variation on combustor exit hot-spot formation
  • Determine the impact of modeling the 1st vane on combustor exit temperature uniformity


  • CFD models included combustor and vane (single sector and half-wheel)
  • Pre and post-processing script to minimize turn-around time increasing number of cases for evaluation



  • Multiple sectors analysis allowed sector variations to be studied as against single sector models, exclusively, in earlier studies
  • Advanced post-processing methods created to extract boundary conditions automatically for input into thermal analysis


  • Automated setup scripting allowed for a full half-wheel model to be created
  • Visualization tool creation aided thermal analysts in understanding the effects of both cooling flows and combustion gases on liner heat transfer
  • Setup of all liner cooling flows and meshing automation reduced overall cycle time
  • In-house expertise in commercial meshing software minimized run-time while maintaining accuracy


  • Developed a design, based on single-sector model that improved temperature uniformity and was rig tested
  • Half wheel model built and support provided, was run on NASA Pleiades cluste